Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

Encouragement and General Prayer for 19 July

Youth Sister Kaylee Baldie offers this Encouragement and General Prayer for 19 July 2020.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends,

We are hoping that you are well. You know, recently I had time with the Lord wherein I questioned Him on certain aspects of my life based on a few happenings that do not seem to change for the better. I try to live by the word of God, declare the word, pray, give thanks, worship, keep putting the situations to Him, take the blows etc. but there are those times when I feel tired of it all. Have you ever been in that state? 

The truth is that when I keep my focus on God I endure many things. Many times I feel a supernatural strengthening but I am also aware of my frailty and that with the persistence and intensity of forces that may come at me, I can become mentally and physically tired. Yet, my deepest desire is to do the will of God. I have to try and stay within the balance so that I am not overpowered by evil. I realise the reason for the Psalmist prayer in Psalm 32.

As Christians, some of us have a way of saying that the battle is the Lord’s, true.
That we are blessed and highly favoured, true.
We put everything in God’s hands, true.
We walk in the will of God, true.

Many people in the body of Christ do not openly share their experiences, struggles and feelings. When you dig deep, you realise that they are truly hurting and at times traumatised. Yet, the feedback that you get is holy and upstanding. The real struggles are not openly shared so that others can understand, identify with and be encouraged. By openly sharing, we can help them to realise that their struggles and feelings are real; and they are not stupid. This is an issue that I find to be confusing to our youths and the unsaved wherein we seem to set standards that they cannot reach.

I find that there is an expectation that people must exhibit a certain profile, always be good, on a high. If you are a celebrity or leader, the expectations are greater. Maybe it should be because of the influence of those persons but is it real? Is the expectation balanced? Many people get involved in substance abuse and other forms of immoral behaviours to falsely relieve the mind and keep the expected profile. As to those who make themselves vulnerable and share; pity or judgement is spelt out on them. They end up sharing at a risk, or, are afraid to do so.

I recall experiences with a number of persons who used terms such as; “me good”, “me okay”, “a water under the bridge that”, or “God is in control, no worries.” However, the feedback that comes from them at a later time is shocking and at times highly negatively spirited. The person’s response would be one of venting that operated like an unforgiving spirit. This happened because the true feelings and struggles were never openly accepted and appropriately addressed.

Do we face real struggles? Yes!
Do we hurt and feel pain? Yes!
Is it okay to share our feelings, even at a risk? Yes!
Is it okay to proclaim and declare the word of God during our struggles? Of course!
Job did that, but my experience is that many times a one sided and unbalanced approach is taken towards Job’s experience.

Job was considered by God to be a blameless man. He was a man of prayer, He loved God (Job 1). He made certain strong proclamations like:

15 “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”

Job 13:15 (NIV)

Job asked God to:

20 “Only grant me these two things, God, and then I will not hide from you: 21 Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors.”

Job 13:20-21 (NIV)

25 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

Job 13:25-27 (NIV)

“If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me!”

Job 14:13 (NIV)

Job had a flow of conflicting emotions. He was telling God what to do. He was expressing his distress, he was questioning God and self. Yet, he was affirming God and proclaiming His trust in Him. He was very open with his feelings, thus making himself vulnerable. This was Job’s reality. However, he was judged, pitied and reprimanded by those close to him who should have his interest at heart. He had to keep defending himself both to God and man. He was in a sour spot but took a bitter sweet approach in his responses.

Job wanted his experience to be over and done. It was intense and there seemed to be no end. Satan was not finished after Job lost all his belongings and children. He wanted more so he went to God a second time, and Satan attacked Job’s health (Job 2: 4-7, NIV). How can one person bear so much some may ask? Our response at times is that God will not give us more than we can bear. God eventually restored Job but the process was distressing and depressing. He openly admitted it, and dealt with it.

The Psalmist in Psalm 42 was depressed and in apparent distress when you observe his discourse. He questioned self and God but encouraged himself. Here we see a balance. He said:

9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God;”

Psalm 42:9-10 (NIV)

Brethren, life at times throws hard balls at us but we need to express our feelings, declare the word of God over our situations, and encourage ourselves. Ask God whatever questions we need to and allow others to do so. Remember, everything that we think, say and do should be in line with the word of God. Remember that though we become angry, we do not sin in our anger. This is just one expectation. We are experiencing a difficult period. Be encouraged and encourage each other under God. Remember, God loves us dearly…so, mek wi tek heed nuh.

As we continue in reflection, Kaylee Baldie will lead us in prayer. Kaylee is a member of our youth group Teens in Praise. She is the twin sister of Jonathan Baldie.

Let us pray:

Lord, Heavenly Father, we adore You. We lift Your name on high because if it wasn’t for You we wouldn’t be here right now nor would we be surviving this COVID-19 pandemic that is going on. Lord, we thank You for your continued protection over us. Lord, we give You thanks for everything You have done for us in this period of time. We greatly appreciate Your blessings and help during this quarantine.

Lord, we come to You in the name of Jesus Christ asking that You cleanse and forgive us of all our wrongdoings.

We ask that You will look over the church so that we will have the church when this period of disaster is all over. Lord, we pray that You will help the families that are facing challenges. Lord, remember the homeless people on the road. We ask that You will care for them with open arms. Lord, we pray that You will decrease the rate of the COVID-19 cases and eventually stop the virus so that we can have more people attending church as it reopens.

We ask Lord, that You will look over the national leaders and guide them through as we take this journey. Lord, we call by name, The Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, Minister of Health Christopher Tufton, Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke, health workers and support staff, Minister of National Security Horace Chang, Minister of Education, Karl Samuda, Leader of the Opposition Peter Philips, and their families; Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force personnel and Security Guards; all other leaders of government and their support staff; Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck. We remember the judges in our congregation; Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.

Lord, because staying at home all day can be tiring, boring and troublesome please help the children, families and our country, Jamaica, to destroy COVID-19 and make everyone who has it recover.

Lord, we pray that You will help the children and youths at home who are not able to go outside. We ask that You will comfort them.

We present to You our youths who are currently doing CSEC and CAPE exams. Lord, remember those in our congregation; Romeo Elliott, Jhada Graham, Nachkeemi Smith, Shane Brown Garvey, Travis Lawrence, Kimeka Facey, Renae Lindsay, Justin Grey, Taye-Vaughn Jones, Nigel Stewart, Alya Dyce, Parisa Martin and Carissa Heslop. Lord, You know the needs of each, and that their exams start this week. So we ask for the spirit of excellence to be at work in them as they do each paper.

Lord, we also present to You those who are mourning; Brother Andrew Getton who lost his mother (buried last Thursday); Sister Arlene Tomlinson who lost a brother (lived in the U.S.A); Sister Melva Knight who lost an aunt; and Brother Orville Beckford and Sister Ann Beckford who lost a Sister and Sister-in-law respectively.

Lord, we now mention our families who are ill. Sisters Iris Lawrence, Jennifer Nicholson, Virginia Muir, Claris Johnson (mother of Jehan Johnson), Marville (Cherry) Murray (Sister Iris Lawrence’s daughter), Janet Chen-Young, Joyce Bailey, Lucille Alexander, Jhada Graham, Ethlyn Atkins, Cherrie Lee, Brother George Gabbidon, and Andrew Robinson (Sister Claire Robinson’s son), Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr. Isaiah Japp. 

Lord, we ask that You will heal, bless and comfort us as we look to You for help.
In Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.

Amen


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One Comment

  1. Quote – “Many people in the body of Christ do not openly share their experiences, struggles and feelings. When you dig deep, you realise that they are truly hurting and at times traumatised. Yet, the feedback that you get is holy and upstanding. The real struggles are not openly shared so that others can understand, identify with and be encouraged.”

    This was a part of Reverend Morrison’s sermon on Sunday July 19th. So true.

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